Soccer

Liam Cullen snatches Swansea victory to dent Hull’s play-off hopes

The Tigers struggled to create clear scoring chances in response.

Liam Cullen scored the only goal of the game
Swansea City v Bristol City – Sky Bet Championship – Swansea.com Stadium Liam Cullen scored the only goal of the game (Nick Potts/PA)

Hull’s Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes suffered a blow with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Swansea at the MKM Stadium.

The Tigers had gone into the game in the top six, but it was the visitors who eased their relegation fears by claiming all three points.

Swansea went ahead after 10 minutes as Liam Cullen got on the end of a corner from the left to steer a low shot into the bottom-left corner and the home side struggled to create clear scoring chances in response.

Josh Tymon created the first opening for the visitors after seven minutes but his driven cross from the left was too quick for any of his team-mates to connect with in the Hull box.

With 10 minutes gone, Swansea forced the first corner which Tymon swung in low from the left and Cullen ran in unmarked to steer a left-foot shot inside the near post.

Hull tried to respond, and Anass Zaroury swung in a cross from the left but it was too far in front of Regan Slater’s run to threaten the Swansea goal.

The Swans should have had a second after 22 minutes when the ball came in from the right, but Przemyslaw Placheta headed back across the area when he should have aimed for an open goal.

Hull were getting punished for mistakes and only a tackle in his own area by Slater halted another attack before Ronald fired over following a free-kick.

Ozan Turfan headed straight at Carl Rushworth when the ball dropped to him in the area with Hull’s best chance on the half-hour.

A surging run by Jaden Philogene was halted by Ben Cabango’s foul but the fact the Tigers wasted the free-kick was indicative of a lacklustre first-half display and they trailed at the break.

A raking pass down the middle from Alfie Jones found Turfan just offside as he ran towards the Swansea goal in the opening minutes of the second half.

Billy Sharp replaced Lewie Coyle after 54 minutes and nearly made an instant impact as he reached Turfan’s through ball before Rushworth, but Nathan Wood got back to clear his prodded shot just short of goal.

Cullen nearly had his second when Hull failed to clear a cross but steered his shot just wide of a post.

Tymon fired in a cross from the left which Ryan Allsop beat away at his near post for a corner, but Swansea could not repeat their first-half goal as Jamie Paterson fired his volley off target.

Philogene forced Rushworth to save with his knees at the near post as the home side looked for a late equaliser.

Allsop beat away a rising shot from Tymon and then gathered the loose ball as Swansea pushed for a second goal, but they had already done enough to claim the points.